April 24, 2024

Peter Singer supports “pro-life” free speech

Peter Singer supports free speech for foes of abortion

Of course, bioethicists writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics are not the only people who have suffered for their views on abortion. A new Australian university group, Life Choice, has struggled to get approved because of its opposition to abortion.  

Life Choice’s aims are “to promote the dignity of human life from conception to natural death, through reasonable and informed discussion on the issues of abortion and euthanasia in Australian society.”

But it has faced fierce opposition at the major universities in Sydney. The group was almost disaffiliated by the University of Sydney Union. The president of the Student Representative Council declared that “a woman’s right to chose comes before freedom of speech”. For similar reasons the student union at the University of NSW refused to endorse the society.

The issue has generated a storm of media coverage, including several articles in The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Surprisingly, the group has found a supporter in Peter Singer. “I have been an advocate of legal abortion since I was an undergraduate myself, when abortion was illegal; but I am also a strong supporter of freedom of speech,” Professor Singer said. “A university, in particular, should be a place where ideas are able to be freely expressed. Students should be challenged to defend the ideas they take for granted.”

Xavier Symons
Creative commons
free speech
Peter Singer